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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 23rd (All times Eastern)

Nashville Predators (22-22-7) at Vancouver Canucks (26-16-9), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Nashville Predators have found success by getting their offense from their defense.

The Predators hope to begin a four-game road trip on Thursday night with a victory as they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

Nashville has won three of its past four games, with 15 goals over that span. Seven of those have come from defensemen Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis.

Both Weber and Josi scored in Monday's 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Josi added an assist, while forwards Nick Spaling and Mike Fisher also lit the lamp as Nashville moved to 6-4-3 in its past 13 games.

"Obviously, there have been some good screens lately and things are just going (in), so hopefully we can just keep getting things there and we'll get second opportunities off of it," said Weber, who has three goals and two assists in his past four games.

Weber has four goals and 13 points since Dec. 28 and has logged 22 points, including six goals, over his last 22 games, while Josi has six points in his last six games.

Despite the offensive production from the blue line, the Predators still added another point-producing defenseman by getting 23-year-old Michael Del Zotto from the New York Rangers on Wednesday in exchange for defenseman Kevin Klein.

Del Zotto, who struggled with playing time under new Rangers coach and former Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault, had two goals and 11 points in 42 games this season. He had 26 goals and 121 points in 292 career games with New York.

"Michael gives us another young, gifted left-handed shooting defenseman with significant offensive upside," Preds general manager David Poile said. "We look forward to his presence on our already talented young blue line, further balancing our defensive corps."

It was the second trade in eight days for the Predators, who shipped forward Matt Hendricks to Edmonton on Jan. 15 for goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Dubnyk was roughed up in his Predators debut on Saturday versus Colorado, allowing five goals on 29 shots in a loss. He is 5-6-3 with a 2.59 goals against average in his career against the Canucks, while Hutton has never faced them.

Vancouver welcomes Nashville looking to win a third straight contest. The Canucks held off the Oilers 2-1 on Tuesday despite missing head coach John Tortorella and star center Henrik Sedin.

Tortorella is serving a 15-day suspension that is set to be completed on Feb. 2 for his actions in last Saturday's game versus the Calgary Flames, while Sedin missed his first game since March 19, 2004 because of a rib injury. That halted his consecutive games played streak at 679, which is the sixth longest in NHL history.

Sedin is day-to-day and his status for this game is unknown.

Zack Kassian had the winner in Tuesday's decision and Kellan Lain added his first career goal. It came in his second NHL game, though his first ended after just two seconds due to his involvement in the game-opening line brawl versus the Flames.

"Everyone was so thrilled for Kellan," said assistant coach Mike Sullivan. "It's been a tough couple of days."

In his second start since coming back from an ankle injury, Roberto Luongo made 28 saves as the Canucks won consecutive contests for the first time since a three-game run from Dec. 20-29. They had gone 1-5-3 in between the win streaks.

Luongo is 16-12-0 with three ties and a 2.19 GAA in his career versus the Predators, making 30 saves in a 3-1 victory in Nashville on Dec. 3.

Ryan Kesler had a pair of goals for Vancouver, which has won four straight and seven of its last nine versus Nashville.

The Canucks, who are set to play four straight at home, have won four of the last seven encounters in Vancouver with the Predators.

01/23 10:57:37 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
Final
MEM 70
ECU 58
Final
PHI 89
DET 69
Final
CLE 99
POR 94
Final
TOR 119
SAC 102
Final
MIN 110
BOS 98
Final
ATL 113
BRK 102
Final
HOU 99
DAL 94
Final
NOP 85
DEN 93
Final
NYK 100
OKC 92
Final
SAN 95
CHA 86
Final
UTA 89
LAC 94
Final
PHO 106
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
MIL
 
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IND
NYK
 
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MEM
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
 
Final
VERM 44
GTDNS 47
 
Final
NAVY 64
AMER 54
 
Final
UMBC 56
BING 68
 
Final
JMU 88
DEL 82
 
Final
RICH 86
DUQ 55
Final
UNCW 82
ELON 65
 
Final
USB 72
HART 66
 
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WMARY 100
HOF 79
 
Final
COL 54
LAF 59
 
Final
PSU 63
MINN 58
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MAINE 58
UNH 63
 
Final
DREX 65
NE 60
 
Final
FORD 63
RIU 64
Final
SFLA 52
SMU 63
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MARQ 70
SHU 80
Final
LSU 64
SCAR 58
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UCF 62
TEMPL 86
Final
LONG 64
UNCA 74
 
Final
FSU 82
WAKE 76
Final
CCAR 68
WINT 75
 
Final
OU 84
WRST 76
 
Final
ND 77
DUKE 73
7:30pm Wednesday
GHND 0
HC 0
 
Final
CSOU 77
RAD 84
 
Final
OKLA 81
TTU 36
Final
BRAD 57
DRAK 69
 
Final
BUCK 68
LEH 62
 
Final
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LOYC 47
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ILLST 67
MIZST 57
 
Final
PEAY 69
MORE 82
 
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SDKST 86
NEOM 64
 
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ARST 73
ORST 55
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HOU 59
RICE 48
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SILL 52
NIOWA 59
Final
NCSU 57
CLEM 68
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MEM 70
ECU 58
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MIAMI 50
GT 70
Final
PURD 83
IND 67
Final
TCU 61
KU 64
 
Final
BC 72
LOU 81
Final
MISS 79
MSST 73
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CREI 77
STJ 74
Final
SJST 52
AFA 66
Final
ARZ 90
OREG 56
Final
WASH 74
STAN 84
 
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ODU
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Final
NJD 2
TOR 1
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WAS 4
PIT 0
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PHI
WIN
 
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